Sunday, March 29, 2009

In review: Fashion Feud, round 2

Kimberly Jurek at her sewing machine / Image by Lauren Gantner

Last Wednesday I took in the second edition of Scion's Fashion Feud. If you missed it the first time, here's a summary: Two local designers are put onstage at the 7th Street Entry with one hour to design an outfit. The catch: They're given a bag of random materials immediately before the show. The winner gets a cash prize and goes onto the final round (date TBD).

Jenny Carle at work / Image by Lauren Gantner

The silly part is that the winner is chosen completely by audience applause. It's obvious how this can be problematic. Basically, whoever was able to bring the most friends wins, and this was apparently the case in the most recent bout that pitted Kimberly Jurek (a longtime staple of the local design scene) and newcomer Jenny Carle.

Model Sarah in Kimberly Jurek (Jenny Carle in foreground) / Image by Lauren Gantner

Kimberly Jurek has been designing in Minneapolis for a long time for her namesake line kjurek couture. She was featured in the first three Voltage: Fashion Amplified shows, sells her line in boutiques all around the Twin Cities and the U.S., and even has her line manufactured, producing multiple collections per season. Clearly, this girl knows what she's doing. Granted, I'm not a fan of everything she makes, but overall I respect what she does and she does it well. During the hour of Fashion Feud, she produced a one-shouldered sundress I can easily imagine throwing on this summer. It was fairly basic and she did get lucky by getting a good printed fabric, but sometimes keeping it simple is best. 

Somehow, she also managed to make a canvas tote, a headpiece, and an armband out of her remaining materials - and it didn't hurt that she had her favorite model, the infamous Sarah, showcasing her work.

Model Sarah in dress by Kimberly Jurek  / Image by Lauren Gantner

Carle's dress also erred on the side of basic, which is probably the best thing one can do in this kind of competition. Where Laura Fulk and Kerry Riley went wrong during the last round was overcomplicating things, so it's here that Jenny Carle is more successful. However, it was clear from anyone in the audience that Carle's dress ended up looking a bit unkempt and thrown-together compared to Jurek's cleaner design.

Jenny Carle's design / Image by Lauren Gantner

The thing is, due to audience applause, Carle was named the winner despite Jurek's clearly better offering. I actually would've worn Jurek's dress, and I'll bet no one would've been able to guess it was made in just an hour.

Stay tuned for the as-yet-unannounced final bout between
round one winner Laura Fulk and Jenny Carle. 


  1. I'm not sure I entirely agree. It's difficult to tell from the pictures, but Jurek's piece relies heavily on the fabric pattern - which was the luck of the draw. It is a very basic one-shoulder number with a simple skirt. I'm a fan of KJ, but this felt very safe to me. Carle's piece does show some greenhorn in the sewing department, and the skirt is dumpy. But the top hints at interesting design elements to come when her needle skills get up to speed with her imagination.

  2. Duly noted! Thanks for your comment!